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Clients and companies: present and future in the face of the coronavirus crisis

Clients and companies: present and future in the face of the coronavirus crisis

Comercial y Ventas | Artículo
  • Marzo 2020
  • Autor
  • Juan Carlos Alcaide Casado
  • Profesor en ESIC y Experto reconocido en Silver Economy. Profesor en ESIC. Consultor en fidelización y Experiencia de Cliente. Experto reconocido en Silver Economy. Conferenciante de Thinking Heads.

Texto

It all seemed like science fiction when we heard the first voices telling us that something serious was coming, used to, as we were, to being spectators of this type of crisis always from afar. We watch fiction films or read dystopias, but we think it will never touch us. Against our will, our turn has come. How great it is to live here, except in times of uncertainty. The whole society is making a great effort and, as a result of this reality of confinement, economic and labour measures put in place to overcome the crisis have already begun, clients and companies are seeing their routines disrupted and are even experiencing fear of the near future.

The client: austere and individual in the community

Customers feel their economy is threatened, but at the same time realize that one can be happy with a more austere life without great luxuries. They have also become aware that a social life is fundamental; they need it, but they must pay attention to individuality, which was perhaps neglected before. Now, moreover, individuality within the community, implies a responsibility, towards the community.

The crisis of consumer trust, together with all the above, will lead to a standstill that we will probably not see clearly until a few months from now.

But what will come after confinement?

  • Low cost will surely experience an upward trend and become the new axis or epicentre. In an economy that is threatened and in crisis, it is commonplace to seek the right price and to indulge in the occasional whim.
  • The second-hand market and product rental platforms will prosper, at least for a while.
  • It is foreseeable that cocooning, or the tendency to stay at home, will increase. A more austere economy together with a greater and more satisfying use of time at home, which possibly will make our home our fortress.

Companies: adapting to the challenge

From the point of view of companies, how can they satisfy the customer in the midst of the crisis caused by the coronavirus without harming their own interests?

In my opinion, the most appropriate thing to do is to act by demonstrating that:

  • Leadership is strong and consolidated, the main thing is complying with the regulations, precisely because of the commitment to society.
  • It will face the new reality in the best possible way, implementing flexibility and showing that it is still active, available to customers, adapting to exceptional measures and reorganizing its tasks.
  • Communication will not be interrupted despite the reality. Nowadays, different channels can be used: email, telephone, video calls... The most important thing is that the client feels accompanied and perceives the reorganization being carried out by the company.
  • Kindness is essential. Quality and kindness are always welcome, and more so in moments like these. Contact based on appreciation and providing value to people's actions must take precedence over communications based on money and the interests of the company.
  • Loyalty is rewarded even in times of crisis. One must be understanding, empathetic and act accordingly. Appealing to the sensorial-emotional is a plus, as well as making use at times of some elegant humour.

And after confinement? Without a doubt, the greatest challenge comes afterwards and companies must be aware that:

  • Friendly low-cost companies will once again triumph among the austere audience.
  • Omnichannel will be the key as cocooning is becoming a trend, that will mean a change of mentality not only during these weeks, but also in weeks to come.
  • Customer experience will be an aspect that will have to be worked on with even greater impetus. Generating sensations and emotions based on calmness and serenity will be essential. Sensory marketing in this crisis that has already begun will be very important.
  • Personalization of the product will be necessary, now more than ever, with the help of artificial intelligence and big data. Giving added value will be key to promoting interest in the product.

Customers and companies are facing a scenario that nobody said would be easy. I hope my words have at least prepared you to face the coming situation for which you can already start preparing for. That is, while we stay at home.


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